Family

So before the daily update, I just need to say: Family, yo. 

My husband has spent as much time as possible at my bedside. My mother, sister Gretchen, and brother-in-law Matthias have carried the weight of caring for my two toddlers while he does so – all while fighting off the cold virus that brought me here. My sister Kristin got me an amazing art set from the Metropolitan Museum of Art (my fave US museum so far) and some cool coloring books, and my sister Gretchen brought them and some books she picked out for me – including an awesome Calendar of Wisdom book she got me for Xmas – here to me at the hospital. My cousin Crystal has been my biggest cheerleader from afar. My Uncle Mike has repeatedly touched base with me to send me good wishes. My sister-in-law Joanna and brother-in-law Mark have stayed in constant touch with me from England with hopeful words, funny stories, and positive thoughts. And our Araceli – our chosen Seattle family – has texted me nearly every day to check on my condition. Family. Blood. Thank you. You’re my rock.

Anyhow so! Not much sleep last night as my IV machine kept freaking out. No idea why. AIR IN LINE! AIR IN LINE! or MEDICATION COMPLETE! MEDICATION COMPLETE! Long night, but my awesome night nurse Deirdre took my blood before 7 and the results are already back. My ANC has to be over 500 for me to come home and unfortunately that result hasn’t come back yet BUT my overall WBC count went from 2000 yesterday to 11000 today! So that Neupogen shot really did the trick (in addition to making my knees and hips ache like a mother). 

My hair is coming out so much I can’t even describe it, yet I still appear to have a full head of hair. This will not surprise those who know me, but at this point it’s driving me nuts. I had a total mini breakdown over it last night. There is hair EVERYWHERE, and it doesn’t help that I haven’t been allowed to shower (because of my port). I actually hang my head over the garbage can and just pull tufts of hair out and still HAIR REMAINS. The worst part is my entire scalp aches from the follicle inflammation so at this point I just want the hair gone. Gretchen says she will buzz it today but Julian doesn’t want that, which lead to my breakdown. I am complicated in that I don’t feel especially physically beautiful but I put a lot of work into trying to be. I have this 1950s glamorous beauty ideal that I am constantly striving for, and short hair does not figure into that. So right now I try to avoid looking at myself in the mirror, which is fine while I’m trapped in the hospital, but when it’s back to regular life is going to be pretty hard. I’ll be torn between not wanting to see how bad I (perceive that I) look and wanting to make extra effort with my makeup and jewelry to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, so to speak. Anyhow that’s enough rambling about vanity.

Cancer sucks. It’s stripping me of all sorts of things I need to be me. I haven’t seen my kids in several days. I sleep alone every night (when I can sleep). I’m not allowed to shower and wash what little hair I have left. I have no physically autonomy. But in the end, I’ll be stronger. Maybe I’ll be a different me. If so, I hope it’s a better me.

3 thoughts on “Family

  1. Sounds like you have a great Tribe of people around you, that’s some good medicine right there. It’s true, you will not be the same after this, there’s no going back with cancer, only forward. We are trees and we will grow taller and stronger, even through this.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Happy you got so many good people around you, Kate! I put a scarf on my head, full makeup, with bright red Dior lips. Now sitting in the waiting room for my third chemo, full of hope for 2016! We will be better then ever 😘💃

    Liked by 1 person

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